Elaina Ryan of Children’s Books Ireland offers some expert advice on persuading kids to put down their phone and pick up a book…
One of the questions that we’re frequently asked at Children’s Books Ireland is how to entice children and young people away from screens and towards a book. Is limiting screen time the answer? That’s down to parents to decide; what we do know is that taking away the phone or iPad and replacing it with something that’s seen as being “good for you” is about as appealing and effective as taking away a gooey fudge brownie and putting a lettuce leaf in its place.
Studies show that screens are very much a part of children’s lives, but so too are books, in most cases: according to a comprehensive Arts Council & ESRI report which draws on information from the longitudinal Growing Up in Ireland Study (Arts and Cultural Participation among Children and Young People: Insights from the Growing Up in Ireland Study), half of three year olds watch television for two or more hours a day. But that same study tells us that over half of three-year-olds are read to; half of families sing and recite rhymes and poems with their children and almost half paint or draw. Keeping reading in the mix as they grow older is the challenge: at the age of 9, only 6 per cent of children said they never read, while at the age of 13, that figure increases to 21 per cent.
So how do you encourage a young person to read? The short answer is that finding the right book for each young person is crucial. Join the library.
for more tips read full piece via How to get your children reading.